William Merritt Chase (1849–1916), Self Portrait in 4th Avenue Studio (1915-16), oil on canvas, 133.4 x 161.3 cm, The Richmond Art Museum, Richmond, IN. Wikimedia Commons.
William Merrit Chase was an American Modern Master: an accomplished and prolific portraitist, painter of glorious Impressionist landscapes, and a dedicated teacher whose influence extends into the current century.
When offered the opportunity to study in Europe, he reportedly responded: My God, I’d rather go to Europe than go to Heaven.
On his approach to the Old Masters, he is claimed to have uttered the maxim: We are all going to heaven and Van Dyck is of the company.
From the obituary published in the New York Times shortly after his death: Things that would have been lost he saved for us — unconscious momentary attitudes of children, swift changes of color under angles of light that became different angles in the twinkling of an eye, the rhythms of draperies swung by flickering gust of wind…. The death of William Merritt Chase removes from the ranks of American artists one whose contributions probably will receive a richer measure of applause in the next century.
Hirshler EE (2016) William Merritt Chase, Museum of Fine Arts Boston. ISBN 978 0 87846 839 3.
Longwell AG (2014) William Merritt Chase, A Life in Art, Parrish Art Museum and D Giles. ISBN 978 1 907804 43 4.
Smithgall E et al. (2016) William Merritt Chase, A Modern Master, The Phillips Collection and Yale UP. ISBN 978 0 300 20626 5.